Diversity, Learning, and Fun in the International City Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/17/2019 to 12/13/2019 with

Geneva Graduate Institute and Wellesley College - BA/MA Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I'd say what I gained the most from the Graduate Institute was the insight I gained from the diverse and supportive atmosphere. The students there truly represent the world and that was super valuable in class. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The Graduate Institute is full of interesting professors, intelligent and kind students, and helpful administrators. The classes were great, often taught by practitioners, and its located right next to the United Nations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators at the Graduate Institute are super helpful and kind. Whenever they needed any documentation from me it was very straightforward, and whenever I needed any help with anything they were very responsive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms were super close to the school, not far from the city center or Lake Geneva, and they had great amenities, including a full kitchen, private bathrooms, and a housekeeping service.

* Food:

Food at the Graduate Institute cafeteria was great and cheaper than most food in Geneva. Outside of that, it make most sense to cook in the kitchen in your dorm.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I integrated well despite the fact that I didn't speak much French. Geneva is very accessible and most people speak English. It is also helpful that other students at the Institute are very kind and learning to navigate Geneva as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare system in Geneva is good, but the government wants you to have some form of insurance and will contact students about getting on insurance, so it is important to watch out for those letters.

* Safety:

Geneva, and Switzerland as a whole is incredibly safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I had a great time, learned a lot, and met lots of amazing people from countries all over the world who brought a lot of different perspectives in class.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Geneva is a very expensive city, and even though I only ate my apartment or the school cafeteria, even buying food at the supermarket costs quite a bit of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60-80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Shop at Litl if you want to save money on food.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? In French, I had no background.
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Diversity
  • Professors who are practictioners
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of living is high
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the Swiss immigration system, because it required a lot of back and forth mailing documents about residency and insurance that meets Swiss requirements, but overall it was manageable.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!